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The Zula Bennington Greene (1895-1988)
Collection, 1920-1991


Intro | Donor Info | Bio | Scope & Content | Folder List | Index | Links

Zula Bennington Greene (1895-1988)

Zula Bennington Greene (1895-1988)

Photograph by Carol Neff, Barton Photography, Topeka, KS., 1988.

Zula Bennington Greene was born March 2, 1895, on a farm in Hickory County, Missouri, to Jacob and Margaret (Holley) Bennington. She grew up in Missouri and moved with her family to Center, Colorado, in her teens. She attended Colorado University for two years and taught school for three years before she began writing for two Kansas newspapers, the Chase County Leader-News and the El Dorado Times, in 1928. During the Great Depression she moved to Topeka and began writing for the Topeka Daily Capital, later known as the Topeka Capital-Journal.

Greene is best remembered for her column, "Peggy of the Flint Hills," that appeared six days a week in the Topeka Capital-Journal from 1933 to 1988. In the 1930's she wrote "The Coleman Family," a weekly serial for WIBW Radio in Topeka. In later years she also wrote twice a year for the Minneapolis Review of Baseball. In 1983 a collection of her favorite columns was published under the title Skimming the Cream, and she wrote the introduction for Kansas In Color. Portions of her autobiography have appeared in the regional magazine titled Little Balkans Review.

Greene was an active member of the Topeka, Kansas, community for over fifty years. She was a board member and past president of the Topeka Civic Theatre and she appeared in several theatre and television productions. In 1940 her first role was as a doctor's wife in "Our Town." She also appeared in the 1977 made-for-television movie, "Mary White," playing the role of "Mrs. Apple." The Arts Council of Topeka presented her with an award for her writing and support of Topeka, Kansas, theatres that same year. She is credited with the founding of a Performing Arts Center for children and instituting weekly acting classes at the Veterans Administration hospital in Topeka, Kansas. In 1987 she received the American Association of Community Theatres, Robert Gard, Superior Volunteer Award for her work with the Topeka Civic Theatre. She also received an award for her contributions to community theatre from the Federation of American Community Theatres Midwestern conference. She was named Outstanding Newswoman of the Year by the University of Kansas and Kansas State University. She was nominated for the Mary Margaret McBride Award in 1952. The Junior League of Topeka, the Kansas Authors Club, and the Kiwanis Club honored Greene for her contributions. She was the first recipient of the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce "Topper" Award in 1977. She celebrated the 50th anniversary of her column in 1984. That same year, the Native Sons and Daughters named her their Distinguished Kansan and the Kansas Authors Club honored her for distinguished service. Greene received an honorary doctorate of human letters degree from Washburn University on May 15, 1988.

Greene was a member of Theta Sigma Phi, now the Topeka Professional Chapter of Women in Communications, Inc., the Topeka Civic Theatre, Phi Kappa Phi honorary scholastic society, the Topeka Downtown Rotary Club, Women in Communications, YMCA, Minerva Club, Nautilus Club, and the Central Congregational Church. Zula Bennington Greene married Milton Willard Greene on June 26, 1918, in Center, Colorado. They had four children: Margaret Greene, Edward Greene, Dorothy (Greene) Hanger, and Willard B. Greene. She died of a stroke on June 13, 1988, in Topeka, Kansas.


Collection #21

Zula Bennington Greene (1895-1988)
Collection, 1920-1991

.6 linear feet

INTRODUCTION

Personal papers and collected materials of Zula Bennington Greene, an author and columnist from Topeka, Kansas. Includes personal and professional correspondence with friends and publishers; manuscripts; newspaper articles and clippings; book reviews; poetry and psalms; programs; printed materials; and photographs and images.

DONOR INFORMATION

The materials in the Zula Bennington Greene Collection were donated to the Leonard H. Axe Library of Pittsburg State University on 10 October 1978 and 20 March 1979 by Zula Bennington Greene.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

~ ~ See above ~ ~

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

The Zula Bennington Greene Collection contains correspondence, manuscripts, newspaper articles and clippings, and miscellaneous materials that document her personal and professional life, family, and activities as author and columnist in Topeka, Kansas. Materials within the collection include letters, printed material, clippings, revised copies of autobiographical manuscripts, a radio program, and book reviews of the book, Kansas In Color.

The collection is arranged into nine series:

The Correspondence Series is comprised of correspondence both to and from Greene from 1920, 1922, 1929, 1931, 1933, 1938, 1942, 1946, 1948-1950, 1959, 1960-1962, 1964, 1965, 1969, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1981-1984, and 1988. Also included are related letters and postcards to and from Lynn Martin, publisher of The Echo, and Gene DeGruson, curator of Special Collections at Pittsburg State University, written in 1942,1944, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1985, 1989, and 1991. Martin and DeGruson were close friends with Greene. The personal correspondence contains references to Greene's family, childhood, poetry, and her autobiography. Also included are original and copied correspondence with George White, editor for a New York publishing house, relating to the publication and revision of Greene's autobiographical manuscript. Letters from the University Press of Kansas inform Greene that the book, Kansas In Color, made their national bestseller list for hardcover regional titles.

The Manuscript Series is comprised of manuscripts written by Zula Bennington Greene. Included in the collection are several revised copies of chapters from her unpublished work entitled, "From the Middle of an Hourglass: Reminiscences of Zula Bennington Greene." The chapters are entitled, Part I: "Hickory County, Missouri, 1895-1910," Part II: "Center and Boulder, Colorado, 1910-1918," Part III: "Chase County, Kansas, 1918-1933," and Part IV: Topeka, Kansas, 1933-1943." The series also contains an article she wrote about a January 8, 1926, fire in Bazaar, Kansas, and an article she wrote about Kansas authors and books.

The Clippings Series is comprised of newspaper articles and clippings written about the life and death of Zula Bennington Greene, articles she wrote, and miscellaneous clippings she collected. Included in the series are articles published in the Topeka-Capital Journal, Chase County Leader-News, Wichita Eagle-Beacon and USA Today regarding the death of Greene in 1988. Articles written by Greene include reference to Lynn Martin, publisher of The Echo, and personal friend Gene DeGruson. The series also contains several copies of her column, "Peggy of the Flint Hills."

The Book Reviews Series consists of book reviews from 1982 and 1983 for the book, Kansas In Color (1982). The University Press of Kansas published the book for the Kansas Department of Economic Development to highlight the state's evolution and heritage. Greene wrote the book's introduction. Included are original and copied newspaper reviews by the Manhattan Mercury, Kansas City Star, Wichita Eagle-Beacon, Topeka Capital Journal, and a magazine article in Kansas Farmer. The series also contains a complete list of books in print by the University Press of Kansas publication for fall and winter 1982.

The Poetry Series consists of a collection of original poems and clippings of published poetry. Included are poems by May Ward and George Martin, and a letter from the Lawrence Free Public Library with the winning entry by Lora D. Reiter for the 1960 Kansas Centennial Celebration Poetry Contest. There is also unsigned work in this series.

The Program Series consists of printed programs collected by Greene for productions by the Topeka Civic Theatre, Topeka High School, and the Montreal Repertory Theatre. The series dates from 1954 to 1990. It includes performances by Yma Sumac and her company of Incan dancers and musicians; a program for "The Teahouse of the August Moon," with a performance by Gene DeGruson; and a program by the Shawnee County American Revolution Bicentennial Commission. The Topeka Civic Theater program guide for 1990 contains a memorial tribute to Greene.

The Radio Program Series consists of a radio program written for "Peggy." Included is manuscript of humorous quotes to be read on air and a rewritten manuscript of the radio program with corrections and handwritten notes. There is also a 1941 radio program entitled, "Village Notes" for a Brookville, Kansas, radio broadcast in the series.

The Images Series contains photographs and images collected by Zula Bennington Greene. Included are photographs of Liz Driss, the family of humorist Edgar "Bill" Nye, and an official United States Navy photograph of a kitten born aboard a cruiser during the battle of the Coral Sea. Also included is a lithograph by Peter Hurd entitled," The Return of the Weed."

The Miscellaneous Series contains clippings, handwritten notes, and flyers. Included is a funeral program for Zula Bennington Green, a book cover for Kansas In Color, and a caricature of Greene that appeared in a 1946 Topeka magazine. There are two 1938 postal cards from Sears, Roebuck, and Company and Montgomery Ward of Kansas City, Missouri. A 1954 Christmas booklet given to Greene is also in the series.

FOLDER LIST

Correspondence Series

f. 1 undated, 1920-1938
f. 2 1942-1943
f. 3 1946-1959
f. 4 1960-1969
f. 5 1971-1972
f. 6 September-November 1973
f. 7 1975-1976
f. 8 1981-1983
f. 9 1985-1991

Manuscript Series

f. 10 1895-1910
f. 11 1895-1910
f. 12 1895-1910
f. 13 1895-1910, 1910-1918
f. 14 1910-1918
f. 15 1910-1918, 1918-1933
f. 16 1918-1933, 1933-1943
f. 17 1933-1943
f. 18 Undated, June 24, 1988
f. 19 June 24, 1988
f. 20 June 24, 1988
f. 21 June 24, 1988, June 28, 1988
f. 22 June 28, 1988
f. 23 June 28, 1988
f. 24 June 29, 1988
f. 25 June 29, 1988
f. 26 June 29, 1988
f. 27 June 29, 1988
f. 28 June 29, 1988

Clippings Series

f. 29 Life and death of Greene, 1981-1988
f. 30 Written by Greene, undated, 1931-1988
f. 31 Miscellaneous, 1914-1973

Book Reviews Series

f. 32 1982
f. 33 1982
f. 34 1982, 1983

Poetry Series

f. 35 undated, 1941
f. 36 undated, 1960

Program Series

f. 37 1954, 1957
f. 38 1980-1990

Radio Program Series

f. 39 1941, 1947

Images Series

f. 40 U.S. Navy photograph, Bill Nye family portraits, lithograph, clippings, and photographs.

Miscellaneous Series

f. 41 Flyer, handwritten notes, book signing invitation, and booklet.
f. 42 Church bulletin, handwritten notes, and flyers.
f. 43 Clippings, handwritten notes, funeral program, and book cover.
f. 44 Caricature of Zula Bennington Greene in 1946, Topeka Magazine.
f. 45 Postcards and booklet.

INDEX

Axton, Grace f. 17
Bara, Theda f. 15
Barnett, Ruth f. 40
Bennington Frank f. 10, 14, 15, 20, 21, 23, 27
Bennington, George f. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21
Bennington, Jacob f. 10, 11, 12, 20, 21, 27
Bennington, Jessie f. 11, 14, 15, 23
Bennington, John f. 10, 14, 20, 21, 24, 25
Bennington, Julia Anders f. 10, 12, 13, 14, 20, 21, 22, 24, 26
Bennington, Laura f. 10, 20, 21
Bennington, Margaret f. 10, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 27
Bennington, Reuben f. 10
Bernard, Fratie f. 13
Bernard, Fresca f. 13
Bernard, Lowell f. 13
Bernard, Willie f. 13
Bigelow, Antoinette f. 14
Bigelow, Dean f. 14, 15, 18, 21
Bill, Edward E. f. 2
Bird, George f. 11
Bird, Martha f. 10, 12, 13
Blanding, Don f. 25
Boring, Jack f. 13
Brinkley, John R. f. 16
Britton, Wray f. 40
Brown, Frank f. 27
Carson, Jim f. 24
Central Congregational Church, Topeka, Kansas f. 13, 20, 25, 29
Chase County Leader f. 3, 16, 17, 19, 29
Children f. 13, 16, 18, 19, 26
Chubb, Jim f. 40
Churchill, Estelle f. 27
Churchill, Paul f. 27
Clark, Marguerite f. 15
"College" f. 19, 20
Colorado, Center f. 3, 14, 15, 18, 29
Dary, David f. 5
Davis, John M. f. 17
DeGruson, Gene (1931-1997) f. 1, 4, 9, 30, 31, 39
Deitrich, Pat f. 15, 18
"Depression, The" f. 19
Dougall, Donald f. 15
Dougall, Mary (Greene) f. 15
Driss, Liz f. 40
Echo, The f. 2, 3, 9
Epp, Virginia f. 40
Fairbanks, Douglas f. 15
Feaster, Fanny f. 13
Finney, Ronald f. 17
"Food" f. 21
Graham, Willie f. 24
Greene, Churchill f. 15, 23
Greene, Dwight f. 15, 23, 27
Greene, Edward Barton f. 15, 16, 19, 27, 29
Greene, Harry C. f. 31
Greene, Joan (Tattersall) f. 15, 18
Greene, John f. 15, 18
Greene, Milton Willard (1912 -1959) f. 2,3, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29
Greene, Willard f. 2, 7, 29
Greene, Zula Bennington (1895-1988) f. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 38, 39, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45
"Growing" f. 25
Hanger, Dorothy (Greene) f. 3, 9, 16, 17, 18, 25, 29
Hansen, Chris f. 14
Harper, Hugh f. 11, 26
Harper, Jessie f. 29
Harriman, Martha f. 12
Harvey, Della f. 12, 19
Harvey, Nell f. 12, 19
Harvey, Roland Roy f. 14
Henderson, Cora f. 10
"Heritage" f. 21, 22, 23
Holley, Christina f. 10
Hopewell Baptist Church f. 11, 18
Jones, Danny f. 14
Jones, Mae f. 14
Jones, Neal f. 14
"Kansas Authors" f. 22
Kansas, Bazaar f. 9, 15, 18, 23, 29
Kansas, Brookville f. 2, 3
Kansas, Chase County f. 15, 16, 17, 19, 29
Kansas, Cottonwood Falls f. 15, 16, 18, 19, 23, 27
Kansas In Color f. 7, 8, 29, 32, 41, 43
Kansas State Agricultural College, Manhattan, Kansas f. 15
Kansas, Strong City f. 15, 18, 23
Kansas, Topeka f. 3, 7, 13, 16, 17, 19, 29, 30, 31, 38, 42, 44
Keller, Helen (1880-1968) f. 13, 25
Keller, Herbert f. 29
Kirby, Wash f. 10
Landon, Alf (1887-1987) f. 16, 17, 30
Landon, Nancy Josephine f. 16
Leach, Roslyn f. 40
Lewis, Lelah f. 8
Lewis, Roy T. f. 4
McCabe, Maggie f. 27
McCabe, Tom f. 27
McCabe, Will f. 27
McCann, John f. 14, 22
McFadden, Bernarr f. 17
Marks, H. Clay f. 14
Martin, George f. 39
Martin, Lynn f. 2, 5, 6, 30, 31, 43
Martin, Raphael Lynn f. 6, 42
Miller, George f. 27
Missouri, Hickory County f. 10, 29
Moore, Virginia f. 15
Moore, William f. 15
Morris, Alice f. 14
Morris, Esther f. 14
Naegele, Wayne f. 5
Nye, Bessie f. 40
Nye, Edgar Wilson "Bill" f. 40
Nye, Jim f. 40
Nye, Max f. 40
Nye, Winifred f. 40
O'Hair, Madalyn Murray f. 14
Oles, Will f. 16, 18, 27
O'Toole, Denise f. 5
Owens, Jennie Small f. 4, 30
Pacheko, Allie f. 15, 18
Parrish, L. F. f. 15, 18
Parrish, Virginia (Greene) f. 15, 27
Paulen, Ben f. 16
Pickford, Mary f. 15
Richter, Louisiana f. 15
Roberts, Elizabeth Madox f. 24
Roberts, Ivor Simpson f. 15
Runyon, Damon f. 17
Schott, Susan f. 8
Scovil, Effie f. 14, 29
Shoner, Sarah f. 8
Skimming the Cream f. 29
Spears, Charles f. 3
Stewart, Elizabeth f. 15, 18, 27
Sullivan, Patti f. 8
Topeka Capital Journal f. 29, 30, 31
Topeka Civic Theater, Topeka, Kansas f. 29, 38
Topeka Daily Capital f. 17, 29, 31, 42
Tucker, Ernest f. 16
University of Colorado f. 14, 15, 18, 29
University of Kansas f. 14, 29
Vegetable Garden f. 12, 17, 26
Ward, William f. 31
Wheatlands f. 31
Whitcomb, Genevieve f. 8
Whitcomb, Philip f. 8
White,George L. f. 3, 4, 7
Wickenden, Dan f. 7
Woodring, Harry f. 16
Woodward, Louise f. 14, 21
"Work" f. 27, 28

Selected local material

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